Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Well (doing better III)

"Yes, you will need more teachers...

More teachers, and you'll need to allocate staff to individual sites in different ways.

For all EOs/ RFEPs/ IFEPs: 33 to 1

For all CLEDT 2-5: 25 to 1

For all CELDT 1 and/or Newcomers: 15 to 1

We have committed to the understanding that SpEd kids require different learning environments and instructional support to be effective, as primarily realized through scheduling and class size. That same realization and fundamental understanding of what it means to effectively teach ELLs needs to somehow sink into the psyche of those who make decisions. The nature of your student populations, as much as the sheer numbers behind your student populations, needs to drive how you schedule, but also how you staff your site (and how you are allowed to staff your site).

...Hire fewer consultants."

Big time, and then you can pay for the additional teachers you need. While districts are often loath to cough up the funds necessary to hire new folks and pay for their benefits, the specific nature of these teachers -- countering a civil rights violation vis-a-vis the denial of appropriate instruction -- provides all kinds of options. Use your Title II money. Use your Title III money. Stop sending people to attend conferences and trainings to acquire the kind of instructional strategies readily available in your schools already.

But who will teach? I have confidence. Beyond the fact that ELLs quite simply represent the future of public education in California, I have confidence we can find the folks to teach in these specific, high-need, highly valued positions. If the rise of charters has taught us anything, it's that teachers are desperate for the perceived title bump inherent in teaching somewhere selective, sought-after, and important. The Teacher Leaders Network echoes this sentiment nicely. By presenting these positions as the domain of the mission-driven, results-committed, high skill educator, we can staff them for folks who need to move beyond the just-a-teacher job description.

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